A Bunch of Pictures of a Church – Yamoussoukro Basilica, Cote d’Ivoire
At first, I thought about writing a agnostically-charge article about the abuse of religious spending in developing nations.
I thought about writing about what a shame it was that wherever I travel in the developing world different religious organizations spend millions of dollars on grand gestures to their gods rather than spending it on development.
I thought about writing about how Yamoussoukro Basilica cost around $300 million to build, about $115 million of that being public money, and how it costs something like $10,000 a day just to operate, while the streets out front are lined with people, many of whom won’t make that much money over the span of a decade.
I mean seriously, a multi-million dollar church in West Africa? I thought about writing a piece about the need for division between church and state, and how religious groups should be treated as businesses just the same as any.
However, at the end of the day I couldn’t muster up enough energy to deal with the thoughts that swirled through my brain after visiting the famous Yamoussoukro Basilica in Cote d’Ivoire.
You may want to call my lack of a rant a “gift from god” or perhaps it’s just good old fashioned laziness. Be it as it may, you’re not going to find such a rant here.
I decided that after a lengthy election season, not only in America but parts of West Africa, that I had enough of debates.
Thus, I have decided to post instead something that is not debatable Yamoussoukro Basilica is beautiful. It is absolutely stunning. In all honesty, when you set aside the obvious contention, the size, scale and symmetry (I couldn’t think of another “s” word to finish out that alliteration) of this church is breathtaking.
Despite all the issues that I might have had, and still have, about this building, I can honestly say that it is one of the most impressive cathedrals I have ever seen. And the fact that it sits in the middle of nowhere in Central Cote d’Ivoire makes it even more impressive to see.
So enough rambling, here are more than a few photos of Yamoussoukro Basilica.
I’ll be honest, Yamoussoukro is a strange place.
It’s one of those classic examples of a capital city being placed somewhere that has no reason other than political. I can think of similar situations in places like Brasilia and Managua. Still, despite its oddities, it’s worth a day or two just to visit the basilica.
For accommodation, you’ll find a couple over-priced hotels here. Since foreign dignitaries are often here, there has to be accommodation quality enough to house they. They are overpriced. You can also find a bunch of guest houses that have much better value.